49ers Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers made two massive decisions on players with upcoming fifth-year options.

San Francisco exercised the fifth-year option for burgeoning wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. But the team did not do the same favor for defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. Nick Wagoner of ESPN reported the team’s moves on Friday night while the NFL Draft went on.

“General manager John Lynch announced Friday that the Niners will decline their 2024 fifth-year option on Kinlaw’s rookie contract and exercise the same fifth-year option on Aiyuk’s deal,” Wagoner wrote.

Lynch explained that he spoke with both players about the team’s decisions. He said of Kinlaw, according to ESPN, “I talked with Javon — still looking for great things from Javon. Javon is having an outstanding offseason. He’s in a great place and he’s excited about what’s to come, as are we for him.”

Aiyuk broke out in 2022 with a very productive season. The former ASU standout logged 78 receptions, 1,015 yards, and eight touchdowns — all three career highs for the 25-year-old.

Kinlaw has struggled mightily to stay on the field. He has played just 24 career games in the NFL in his three seasons in the league. The former South Carolina standout played 14 games in 2020 but has completed just ten games since then.

While the NFL Draft took up the attention, the NFL world still had plenty to say about these significant moves by the 49ers.


About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022